The plan for the day was to do Grinnell Glacier hike along Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, Grinnell Lake and then Upper Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier. We didn’t start super early, so we just left the car at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and walked the extra 1/2 mile or so down the road to avoid parking issues at the trailhead. The hike was mostly a gentle climb along the lakes until the end where it became a little more exposed and finished with a set of switchbacks to get over the ridge to the glacier.
At the top, by the lake, it was pretty chilly and the wind picked up as well, which, like Sky Pond, seemed kind of odd given how protected the lake itself was. The breeze must have been curling over the peaks and coming down the mountain face. The water was cloudy blue and, not surprisingly, cold with a few small icebergs floating across in the breeze. Apparently it wasn’t cold enough to prevent a couple of younger (and stupider, maybe) guys from jumping into the lake to climb up on of the chunks of ice, but this was far from a common activity.
After hike, as we returned to the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, there was a large group gathered along the edge staring off into the distance. Someone had spotted a grizzly up on the mountain and everyone had gathered to watch. It was quite distant and a few people had setup powerful spotting scopes to watch, but I was able to get some pictures.
We had remaining shower tokens, so we used those, then got some coffee and blackberry soft serve ice cream at the gift shop to help us deal with the shit road heading out of the park. We were obviously not driving an off-road vehicle, but I don’t think anyone was traveling very fast on that stretch.
Our departure had us headed in the direction of Teddy Roosevelt National Park, but not expecting to make it there that night. It was 11:30 or so before I realized that I had left my phone in the cabin in Glacier that morning, but we called and it had been found and would eventually be returned. We ended up driving until 2:30-3am until we found a hotel in a possibly sketchy area of Billings, MT (Motel 6).